Authorities identify two dead in Hays Co. floods, others still missing

The body of a missing mother from Wimberley was identified Wednesday.

Searchers found 43-year-old Michelle Carey-Charba's body Tuesday around 4 p.m. She was staying at her parent's home with eight other people for the Memorial Day weekend.

The home sits right off the Blanco River at 100 Deer Crossing.

It began to float into the river around 1 a.m. Sunday and eventually hit the ranch road bridge and broke apart.

The homes next to the Carey house were also washed away.

Still missing Wednesday from the Carey home are 73-year-old Ralph Carey and his wife 71-year-old Sue Carey. 42-year-old Randy Charba and his 6-year-old son William also in the home,

34-year-old Laura McComb, her six-year-old son Andrew and her daughter, 4-year-old Leighton.

The search also continues for 74-year-old Dayton Thomas and 81-year-old Kenneth Reissing.

Thomas lived next to the Carey family right off the Blanco River.

Reissig was last seen near FM-32 in Blanco County.

Officials did confirm Wednesday that one of the bodies found Tuesday is 29-year-old Jose Arteaga-Pichardo.

He was last seen in the area of loop 165 in Wimberley Saturday night.

Hundreds of volunteers have come in from all across the state to search for the missing 11 flood victims.

Their efforts stretch from Wimberley on down to now south of Martindale in Caldwell County.

Wednesday morning volunteers came to the first Baptist Church in Wimberley in droves.

They brought rakes, shovels and other gear. They were placed into teams and given an area to search.

Jonathan Shaw and Mitch Camarillo were among a group of 5 men who had never met. Yet they got into a truck together and drove to Martindale 40 river miles away.

"The story, I've replayed it over in my mind," said Shaw.

Shaw's wife grew up with the Carey family. Ralph, Sue, their daughter Michelle and husband William and 6-yr-old son were swept away in a river home. Michelle's body was recovered.

"You just want to get out there and help them. Whatever it is, I'm not a river guy, but we'll go out and try," said Shaw.

Camarillo is searching for his friend Laura McComb and her two children who were in the house with the Careys.

"Just the story of Jonathan and his family being in a house and taken away. That's what I'm thinking about," said Camarillo.

They joined other teams along the San Marcos River.

They push around on the piles of debris looking for any sign of life.

The job is dangerous as the San Marcos River is well out of its banks and full of rapids.

But their hearts keep them going and seeing those who did not know their friends searching alongside them, also gives them strength.

"Just shows how communities come together and people around the world caring for each other just like and other natural disaster people coming together and finding out that there's more to life than the things that we buy or the money that we make. At the end of the day it's about people," said Camarillo.

Texas Taskforce 1 and Texas military services are leading the official search. A helicopter was hovering above us here today. They are also using K-9s.

County officials are urging people not to search on their own. They also said their search efforts will now extend beyond the river.

 

 

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